5-time Olympic Champion with 10 overall medals – Never been defeated in Olympiad Competition (5 Gold, 4 Silver, and 1 Bronze)
Winner of 4 World Championships. The only world champion in history (male or female) to win the Triple-Crown (Rapid, Blitz, and Classical World Championships)
Currently holds a record 56 consecutive Olympiad game scoring streak without a loss
Break the gender barrier to qualify for the Men’s World Championship in 1986
Earn the Grandmaster Title in 1991
Win the U.S. Open Blitz Championship in 2003
Receive the Grandmaster of the Year Award in 2003
Ranked #1 in the world at the age of 15. Ranked top 3 in the world for more than 20 years.
3-time winner of the Chess Journalists of America Award for Best Magazine Column and Best Endgame Analysis
First ever recipient of the Chess Educator of the Year Award in 2003.
Susan with her two
sisters Judit and Sophia.
Susan with her two
sisters Judit and Sophia.
Susan helping young
Sophia in a fun game.
BIOGRAPHY OF SUSAN POLGAR
World Chess Championship
Polgar captured her first world title by winning the World Chess Championship for Girls under 16 at the age of 12.
Top-rated Female Chess Player
Despite restrictions on her freedom to play in international tournaments by the Communist government, Polgar had become the top-rated female chess player in the world.
First Woman in History to Qualify for the “Men’s” World Chess Championship
Polgar broke the gender barrier by becoming the first woman in history to qualify for the “Men’s” World Chess Championship. She was not allowed to play due to her gender. Because of Polgar, the world chess federation (FIDE) eventually had to change their policy to admit women players.
No similar interference with ratings has occurred since
FIDE (with the pressure from the Soviet federation which did not want to see a non-Soviet to be ranked #1) decided to illegally grant 100 bonus ELO rating points to all active female players except Susan, knocking her out of the top spot in the January, 1987 ratings list. The rationale was that Polgar had earned her rating primarily playing against men, whereas other female chess players had deflated ratings from playing in women-only tournaments. There was no statistical evidence supporting this decision. No similar interference with ratings has occurred since.
First Woman to Earn the Men’s Grandmaster Title
Polgar broke the gender barrier again by becoming the first woman to earn the men’s Grandmaster title by achieving three GM norms and rating over 2500. (Nona Gaprindashvili and Maia Chiburdanidze had earlier been awarded the title by virtue of being Women’s World Champions). Susan’s younger sister Judit earned the title of Grandmaster later in December 1991.
Won the Women’s World Blitz and Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship
Polgar won the Women’s World Blitz and Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship ahead of her sisters Judit and Sofia as well as many other top women players in the world.
Won the Classical Women’s World Championship - 4th World Championship Title
Polgar won the classical Women’s World Championship, her 4th World Championship title. She is the only World Champion (male or female) to win the triple-crown in chess (World Blitz, Rapid and Classical World Championships). FIDE had difficulty finding a sponsor for Polgar’s title defense two years later, and ultimately arranged it in 1999 under illegal conditions in which Polgar objected to, first because she requested at least six months to recuperate and prepare after bearing her first child, and secondly because the match was to be held entirely in China, the home country of her challenger Xie Jun, which is against FIDE rules.
When Polgar refused to play under these conditions, FIDE illegally stripped her of her title. Polgar sued in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, for monetary damages and the restoration of her title. In March of 2001 the court ruled in favor of Polgar, ordering FIDE to pay Polgar $25,000 in damages. However, since a new World Champion was crowned, FIDE could not restore her title. She then retired from competitive chess to raise her two sons.
Grandmaster of the Year
Polgar made a come back to chess. The United States Chess Federation named Polgar “Grandmaster of the Year”, the first time a woman has won that honor. In that same year (2003), Polgar also became the first woman to win the strongest US Open Blitz Championship ever, a field which included 7 grandmasters.
Polgar Led the United States Women’s National Team at the 2004 Chess Olympiad
history was made again when Polgar led the United States Women’s National Team at the 2004 Chess Olympiad held in October in Majorca, Spain. The US team captured the Silver medal, the first ever Women’s Olympiad medal in US history. Polgar also won two gold medals for highest performance rating in the women’s event and most point scores as well as another Silver medal for second best scoring percentage on board 1. She has a total of 10 Olympiad Medals (5 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze). In addition, she has a record 56 consecutive Olympiad game scoring streak without a single loss. In fact, she has never lost a single game in the Olympiads.
#1 Female Player in the World at Age 15
Polgar had an Elo rating of 2577, which once again made her the number one active female player in the World and in the United States. She became the #1 female player in the world at age 15 and has remained in the top 3 for nearly 23 consecutive years.
Four International Records at a Single Match
Polgar broke four international records at a single match played in Palm Beach, Florida, including: largest numbers of simultaneous games played (326, with 309 won, 14 drawn and 3 lost); most consecutive games played (1,131); highest number of games won; and highest percentage of wins (96.93%).
Polgar Won her 2nd US Open Blitz Title in Phoenix, Arizona.
Chess for Peace
Polgar joined former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and 7-time World Champion Anatoly Karpov in Lindsborg, Kansas to promote “Chess for Peace”. This event made headline news around the world. Polgar also participated in the second Clash of the Titans – Battle of the Genders match against Karpov at the same venue, with Gorbachev making the first move for Karpov. The match ended in a 3-3 tie with each player winning 2 games and 2 draws. Their first match took place in September 2004. That also ended up in a 3-3 tie.
NY City Mayor’s Cup
Polgar organized and played in the 2006 NY City Mayor’s Cup, the highest rated double RR tournament in US history. She finished 2nd, ½ point behind Gata Kamsky and ahead of the reigning US Champion Alex Onischuk, Boris Gulko, Ildar Ibragimov and Alex Stripunsky.
Represented the US in the Women’s World Chess Cup
Polgar represented the US in the Women’s World Chess Cup in Dresden, Germany. She captured the Women’s World Chess Cup by defeating German IM Elizabeth Pahtz in the final. Polgar’s score was 7 wins, 4 draws and no loss. This was the first ever Women’s World Chess Cup for the United States
First Ever “Scholastic Chess Ambassador”
Polgar won her 3rd US Open Blitz Championships (2003, 2005, 2006 – she didn’t play in 2004) in Oak Brook, IL by 2 points ahead of the field. She was also named by the United States Chess Federation Scholastic Chess Council as the first ever “Scholastic Chess Ambassador”.
Head Coach of the Texas Tech
Head Coach of the Texas Tech #1 ranked and National Championship teams and Director of SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) at Texas Tech University
Director of SPICE
Director of SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) at Webster University (starting June 2012) and Head Coach of the Webster University #1 ranked team in the nation (starting 6/2012)